Visayas: it is one of the three major geographical divisions of the Philippines which consists of several islands in the centre of the country’s archipelago. It presents a wide variety of attractions from vibrant festivals to historical sites, amazing beaches and natural wonders. Would you like a fancy tropical weekend by the ocean?
You can enjoy a crazy nightlife in Boracay or have the best diving experience in Apo Island. Go on a spree with the dolphins at Bais City and take a dip with the giant whale sharks in Oslob. Or you can simply adore the beauty and ttranquillity of sunset sin Panglao.
If you prefer adventures in elevation, you can conquer the trail of Mt. Dulang Dulang. Capture the bizarre landscape of Chocolate Hills or take the challenging hike to the top of the active volcano, Mt. Kanlaon.
The Visayas Island is also home to some of the grandest festivals in the Philippines.
The streets of Cebu are painted with vibrancy during Sinulog Festival in the third week of January, the same time when the Ati-Atihan Festival is showering the striking colours and energy all over Kalibo. After a week, it’s the moment of Ilonggos to flaunt their radiance with the Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo City.
And if you happen to be around in the later part of the year, The City of Smiles will welcome you with their annual MassKara Festival happening every October. Aside from the well-known languages like Cebuano, Waray-waray and Ilongo, and legendary historical events like the death of Ferdinand Magellan in Mactan, Visayas is also known for supernatural stories of urban legends. Some of these are for instance the aswang (monster) family in Panay and black magic witchcraft in Siquijor – something for those who are seeking a thrilling escapade.
After a long day of satisfying your urge to explore, it’s about time to satisfy your belly. You can start off with a portion of la paz batchoy or pansit molo as an appetizer. Take your pick among the mouthwatering Cebu lechon, Bacolod inasal and kansi Ilonggo for the main dish. For sides, there’s KBL (kadyos, baboy (pork), langka) and lumpiang ubod.
Lastly, you can have binagol, binangkal or sweet mangoes from Guimaras for dessert. As a bonus, you can buy some boxes of napoleones and piaya to bring home and eat while thinking about your previous travels.
It’s quite easy to get around by plane. With tons of daily airfare deals, you can fly from Manila to most of the airports through the local carriers like Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines and AirAsia Zest for cheap. Especially if you decided to plan ahead. Seriously, you can get a roundtrip ticket to Cebu from Manila for a price even lower than 1,000 Php if you book six months in advance. The ferry boat is another way to get to your destination, especially during short trips on Visayas Island.
Some of the major players in ferry transport are 2Go, Supercat and Ocean Jet. Cebu has ferry route connections to some of its neighbouring major ports like Tagbilaran and Dumaguete. For land travel, you can surely get around by local buses, jeepneys, public vans, vans for hire, tricycles or even motorbikes if you dare to.
So no matter what type of traveller you are – a beach bum, a history nerd, a nature maniac, a mountain enthusiast or even a supernatural adventure seeker, this heterogeneous group of islands will surely have something that would tickle your wanderlust.